Books & Review
Updated: Nov 30, 2015 10:03 AM EST

Little Hermy

'Hermy, as was her wont, brought up the rear'. Two Victorian ladies take their young charges on a seaside walk, circa 1875. Engraving by Mary Ellen Edwards, aka MEE, from Anthony Trollope's 'The Claverings'.
(Photo : Hulton Archive/ Getty Images)

"The Warden" by Anthony Trollope is chosen as the best novel of the past 200 years in a poll conducted by Hatchards, London's oldest bookseller. "The Warden", published in 1855, is the first of the six "Barshetshire Chronicles". The winner was picked from a list of 100 titles that includes classics such as "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte and "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens. The winner was chosen through a vote by Hatchards customers and a tally of the book's sales. According to The Guardian, "The Warden" was the "standout" choice.

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"When we set out to find our customers favourite novel of the last 200 years we had no idea what they might select. The initial list covered the full 218 years that this shop has been open and was full of excellent books. 'The Warden' is a thoroughly deserving winner and beautifully symbolises, along with Hatchards itself, the unwavering love for great British books," said Hatchards General Manager Gavin Pilgrim to The Bookseller.

According to The Guardian, Hatchards Events Manager Simon Lewis said that the process of choosing a winner had been fun and challenging.

Hatchards has commissioned Penguin Classics to publish a limited-edition copy of the book, with an introductory page by Hatchards plus a new cover.

As to why Trollope remains relevant after hundreds of years, Adam Gopnik lends an answer in a treatise he wrote in The New Yorker. Gopnik writes: "Trollope is right here where we are. His subject is always politics and his material is always gossip," he adds, "But politics and gossip are still the essential life of the world, as every moment on Reddit reveals, and any writer who can turn them into art will survive. Trollope may never seem to us a seer or a poet. But he's here, and for good." He further states that Trollope is a rarity with his strength as a writer and his "trustworthy" imagination.

Anthony Trollope was born in 1815 in London, United Kingdom. He is considered to be an important novelist of the Victorian Era, and was one of the most prolific with 47 novels. He is known for the well-loved "Chronicles of Barshetshire" and "The Pallisers". 2015 marks the 200th year of his birth.

Hatchards was founded in 1797 by John Hatchard. Its original location in Piccadilly, London is still the same location where it stands today. In 2014, it opened another branch in St. Prancas. Hatchards is now owned by book retailer Waterstones.

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